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“Paradise!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Coral Rock Zanzibar

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Coral Rock Zanzibar
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Jambiani
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2010

My husband and I spent 4 nights at this lovely resort. Gillian and Neil were amazing hosts, and did their very best to ensure that our stay would be memorable.
They went to the trouble of arranging a birthday table for Irvs birthday. Their staff picked palm branches, braided them decorated them with tropical flowers and attached them to the table legs crossing over the table, very dramatic and special.
We felt very relaxed and enjoyed an isolated feeling, without emails and telephones.
The ambiance was just what we needed, relaxing wonderful air and a staff who were there to tend to your comfort and needs.
I had a clove massage, which was nothing short of phenomenal, I will always remember that experience.
We are vegetarian, and the kitchen provided us with some interesting foods.
We went out with Captain Chicken on his boat, he was very protective of us both, and we snorkeled holding on to him. He provided us with the equipment which was excellent.
We would love to return with our children and grandchildren at some stage, because I have no doubt that we would have a holiday of a life time there.
Thanks again to Neil and Gillian for ensuring that we had a great time!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DianeSpitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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542 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2010

My wife and I have just returned from a 12 day mini-tour of Zanzibar in which we spent 4 nights in each of the Coral Rock Hotel (Jambiani), Sultan Sands (Kiwengwa) and the Hilton Doubletree Hotel (Nungwi).

We really liked and enjoyed our stay at the Coral Rock Hotel. Neil, Gillian, Daniel and Pedro took really good care of us and the whole place had a really positive and fun vibe, set in a truly stunning location on a beautiful white sand beach.

I had seen the mix of reviews before booking, some very positive and some mentioning plumbing issues etc but we had no problems at all and just had a wonderful 4 days there. They took such good care of all the guests, it was so personal, friendly, safe and "trendy" that we didn't want to leave. I can honestly recommend Coral Rock to anyone.

Pros: awesome location on a small coral rock outcrop overlooking a breathtaking beach, great views from all the rooms to watch the tide rush in/out over the vast expanse of brilliant white sands, really good varied menu in the fantastic restaurant/bar which draws tourists from all over Jambiani (and much needed shelter from the occasionally strong winds), tasty inclusive breakfasts, free internet from a beautiful mezzanine level in the bar with a view on the sea, free use of water sports equipment, nice beds + aircon + fridge in the rooms, small but nice pool which is perfectly adequate and most of all the place was tranquil, fun and had a lot of character + those personal touches that make all the difference from those boring identikit 3* and 4* hotels that we normally stay in.
Snorkeling on the reef was fun and my wife had a nice massage in the small spa.

Cons: nothing major but in the interest of being fair/ objective I should mention the bathroom of our room. Everything worked so no complaints but it could use a makeover + freshening up (e.g. some rusty fittings, broken toilet roll holder etc). Not a big deal really especially when you consider that this is a fairly remote location in zanzibar and the reasonable rates charged... but this was the only thing that wasn't really good about the room. Also worth noting that some patience is required in the restaurant/bar as the service was variable. Some really good staff (like Issa) were first class... Others needed a bit more attention and a few waves before they finally made their way over to give you a menu etc... But as they say in Africa pole pole = slowly slowly! It wasn't bad - just variable!

The only other decent place to eat in Jambiani that we found was the Blue Oyster hotel. Approx 20mins walk along the beach but good food, service etc.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jonosullivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2010

We spent 5 night here this Summer and loved every second of it. On arrival, we got a complimentary massage in the little spa they have on site, and were told we had free access to all of the water sports equipment, free use of their bikes and vespas, and free internet access, which definitely made it good value for money. Breakfast was also included and was a mixture of fresh fruit, eggs, pancakes, omelettes, juices, cereals and pretty much anything else you asked for. The room was gorgeous and really clean as they got cleaned every day. There was a hot shower and the balcony looked straight down onto the beach, which was even more stunning when the tide came in where there was clear turqoise water literally a few metres down from your balcony! The pool was great and had lovely views onto the beach, and there was a chill-out area with laptops and sky TV. The menu was extensive and the food was great, slightly more expensive but Zanzibar is in general. We also made really good friends with the owners, who made us feel right at home, drinking with us till the early hours and taking us to neighbouring town Paje for a party! They even gave out free shots to all the guests to celebrate the last night before the start of Ramadan. The managers are 2 young lads from South Africa called Daniel and Pedro and they were hilarious and so much fun to be around (although I think Pedro is more like a long-term guest as I'm not quite sure what he does! Haha :) Just kidding Pedro!) The staff were are genuinely nice people who were always happy to help and I'd love to go back there again!! Perfect relaxation with a party just around the corner if you like that kinda thing! Thank you to you all for a fantastic holiday in luxurious bliss at the end of a big long backpacking budget trip!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AfricanAdventure17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2010

Upon arrival at Coral Rock we knew this was exactly the place we were looking for...We were astounded by the beautiful oceans and beaches and the majestic view from the infinity pool onto the ocean. Upon arrival by very friendly staff, with other staff also assisting in making you feel right at home.

Being a honeymoon couple we were placed in the most private room, which was perfect for us. The rooms have all the necessary amenities that you may require - airconditioner, television etc. I was impressed with the overall cleanliness and service of the cleaners, it definately exceeded expectations!

Neil and Gillian were great hosts, often hanging out with the guests - we even ended up with a free bottle of champagne thanks to Neil! The food in the restaurant was amazing - a really big variety of items on the menu which was delicious every time. We are quite picky eaters, but we were highly impressed every time! The food also did not take long at all as many other reviewers have noted, which really deserves a compliment!

Overall I have to say that based on value for money, the resort really exceeded my expectations! I always like to provide some kind of feedback to try to help you guys to improve, but honestly it is the perfect Zanzibar resort. Thanks so much to Neil and Gillian, you made our stay something we will always cherish.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PP-JHB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denmark
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2010

We stayed at Coral Rock for three nights. The hotel is very budget and basic. The rooms are simple, but all right if you're not looking for something too fancy. There is a really nice view over the sea. There is a small pool area, but only few sun beds and most of them without matresses, so not very comfortable. We probably expected a bit more than we got. The over all feeling of the hotel is that it is worn down and not taken care of. The restaurant was not the best. Several times we got the wrong food and sometimes it was barely eatable. The service was not so good either. The best thing about the hotel, besides the view, was the beach and the location right next to the village. It's possible to walk for a trip in the village, which is really nice. At low tide a really nice stretch of sand appears into the ocean, so you can walk and swim.

Initially we planned for four nigths, but left after three. The hotel is all right, but if you looking for a more comfortable getaway, this is not the place.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Masper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Zanzibar, responded to this review, 17 September 2010
Jambo, I can totally understand this review and your perception of the hotel based on your experience. I can also understand how prospective guests looking at reviews of Coral Rock may be confused by the diparity in reviews. So I'd like to kill two birds with one stone of you don't mind. I'll start with the sunbeds and mattresses - we actually have a decent mattress for each sunbed, however, when you were here you may have noticed a lot of children, we'll we eventually discovered that some of them had taken a liking to these mattresses & decided to build forts and tents in their rooms out of these, so my apologies. You will also notice that we were extremely busy at this time with al rooms being occupied - now contrary to your perception of the hotel being a bit run down or neglected, since I took over management in July last year, everyday there has been between 1 to 3 teams of builders or fundi's working on varous parts of the hotel. That's 400 days of continuous improvement. Obviously they need to work around our occupancy, but the situation we have now is that not all the rooms are homogenous (in the same state). We have recently, for the first time, broken our rooms into 7 distinct categories and adjuted the pricing for each accordingly. There are some rooms in a 4 star state and some in 2, these are now reflected by distinct pricing insead of the flat rate we had previously. Since you left, in your room alone, we have installe a new split unit silent air conditioner, a dedicated water pressure pump, a new matress and we are currently replacing the tiles and shower mixer in the bathroom. If I had to list the improvements and renovations we do in one week, this response would go on for far too long. As for the food, I'm sorry that in peak season some errors can occur especially when english is not the first language of the waiters especially when it's the same for the people ordering the food. What I can assure you though is that opinions on food are subjective and when you consider that at the time we were serving 350 meals a day when we only accommodate around 50, this means that a lot of people come to eat here from elsewhere, so I guess the proof's in the pudding (and the starters and the main meals). Overall I thank you for a balanced and objective review. It's the type of impartial review that makes TripAdvisor most valauble to guests and hotel owners alike.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham
Level Contributor
55 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2010

My husband and I spent 5 nights here following 18 nights safari inTanzania. Neil and Gillian and their staff are some of the most genuine and friendly people I have ever met. After one night in a perfectly comfortable room with good facilities Neil up graded us to a truly fabulous room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the sea with the most amazing shower ever. The food was very good, especially the seafood and the restaurant is cosy and atmospheric. The beach is very clean and it is possible to swim for much of the day and when the tide is out the beach is full of locals looking for shellfish. The pool is fabulous and we had a lovely, relaxing stay after a hectic few weeks. My husband loved the wifi access and I loved the peace and quiet. We shall certainly go back.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rootstogrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Zanzibar, responded to this review, 27 August 2010
Ahsante sana (thank you very much). When there is someone that truly appreciates Coral Rock the way youdid, it makes all the hard work and effort totally worthwhile.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weinheim, Germany
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2010

We spent 4 nights in Coral Rocks. The plan was 7 nights ...
Our expectation was to stay in rooms as presented on their homepage. Finally we were staying in a house nearby, outside the resort of Coral Rock. The house itself was nice but really dirty, no warm water, WC and shower were not functional and when opening the front door we stood in the garbage of the people living around the house.
Coral Rocks has a nice view on the sea. The pool is small but ok. Food in the restaurant ... no comment.
Conclusion: value for money = very poor.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank VoSa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JambianiNeil, Owner at Coral Rock Zanzibar, responded to this review, 16 August 2010
Strange question, but why spend 4 days in such a poor place when after the 1st day you complained you were given an option to leave the next with a full refund for the nights not stayed. I have to ask because this is something I honestly cannot understand when you have so many other options on the island
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Coral Rock Zanzibar

Property: Coral Rock Zanzibar
Address: Mfumbwi, Jambiani 4125, Tanzania
Region: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Jambiani
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Jambiani
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Coral Rock Zanzibar 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Coral Rock is one of the most popular small to mid-size hotels in Zanzibar. We offer incredible views and an authentic Zanzibari experience that encourages local and cultural interaction within a functioning Swahili fishing village. Our aim is authenticity & value for money. The unrivaled view and location has been home to international fashion shoots by the likes of Sports Illustrated and FHM, as well as almost half a dozen reality TV shows on account of the striking and unusual natural beauty and panoramic vistas that can be enjoyed from every room and facility at the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Rock Jambiani
Hotel Coral Rock
Coral Rock Zanzibar Zanzibar Island/Jambiani

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